Bundesliga clubs plan reforms amid concerns of Premier League dominance | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.02.2016
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Bundesliga clubs plan reforms amid concerns of Premier League dominance

According to German newspaper 'Bild,' there will be huge changes to the German Cup, the German FA and the distribution of TV money. Amateur clubs will struggle to face Bayern or Dortmund.

German football's leading clubs are planning a wholesale revolution of the German Cup and the distribution of TV revenue, with the aim of remaining competitive in international competition.

Germany's top football clubs are looking over their shoulder as a new TV contract for the English Premier League, worth around three billion euros ($3.4 billion) per year, kicks in from the start of next season. By comparison, the Deutsche Fussball-Liga (DFL), the association which governs first and second division clubs, pulled in 708 million euros last year with 20 percent ring-fenced for 2.Bundesliga clubs.

The Bundesliga's broadcasting rights are soon to be negotiated before the current deal runs out in 2017 and representatives of 16 Bundesliga clubs have come up with three suggestions, as published by "Bild."

1) TV will increase to one billion euros, leaving the second league with 20 percent. This is however unlikely.

2) TV money will rise to one billion euros per year, but money for second-division clubs will freeze at 14 percent (142 million euros).

3) Germany's second division has flexible income with TV money depending on the overall deal, but the share will never drop below 15 percent.

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There are also planned changes to the structure of the German Cup, but as confirmed by the DFL in a later statement, there would be no changes until the 2019-2020 season.

The first option would potentially increase the number of amateur teams in the newly-created first round, while the seven German sides competing in European competition would join the draw in round three.

Alternatively, no Bundesliga teams would compete in the new first round. In the second round, 10 top-flight clubs would join the draw before the seven European teams and the defending champions would compete from round three. The holders would only need to win five ties to retain the title instead of the current six required.

Currently, lower-league clubs can meet Bundesliga sides in the first round with lower-ranked teams drawn at home. But if reforms are given the green light, amateur clubs would have to navigate two rounds in order to secure a lucrative tie against the top Bundesliga clubs.

Volker Brumm, who is the sporting director of amateur side Barmbek-Uhlenhorst, said: "A first round without a top draw is just not right. For us smaller amateur teams, the cup now loses its attraction and charm."

Manfred Weidner of FC Oberlausitz Neugersdorf added: "This is an interesting project because the number of competitors in the cup is increased and as a result, so is the possibility of extra income."

Meanwhile, DFL chief executive Christian Seifert is hoping to push reforms for the German Football Federation (DFB) and has backed current treasurer Reinhard Grindel to succeed Wolfgang Niersbach as president.

The DFB has been without a president since Niersbach resigned in November amid allegations of bribery around winning the rights to host the 2006 World Cup. Seifert's reforms predominantly concern a new spin-off DFB organization which would control commercial and TV rights and would be overseen by a new supervisory board.